Working with schools can be fraught with difficulties, as branded businesses such as Cadbury have found in recent years. The National Association of Master Bakers is therefore to be congratulated on the recent success of National Craft Bakers' Week and the link with schools. The difficulty is to sustain this, and here www.grainchain.com can help. This is a website developed by nabim, the Federation of Bakers and the HGCA over the last two years. It includes a huge range of worksheets, lesson plans, videos, whiteboard activities and podcasts for teachers and students to draw on. The site is designed with teachers in mind, with clear guidance on age suitability of the activities and careful links to the curriculum.
Additions to the site in the first part of 2009 included a range of new materials linked to the government's 'Licence to Cook' programme, which is designed to encourage the uptake of cooking and baking in schools and becomes compulsory in 2011. In the next year, we will be developing training sessions so that teachers can gain confidence in delivering lessons in home-cooking and baking, which helps both teachers and pupils understand the essential simplicity and goodness of bread. They all say how useful they find the site and how much they enjoy the varied activities that demonstrate the workings of our chain from field to bakery. Site visitors have grown by 25% over the last 12 months, but still, too few teachers know of its existence. Please urge everyone involved in, or linked to, the baking sector to encourage schools to make use of this great and growing resource.